West Mercia Police to lose 287 jobs

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West Mercia Police have confirmed that 287 jobs are to go over the next three years to make savings of almost £10m.

Up to 189 staff roles will go along with 98 police officers from various posts across Shropshire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire, a spokesman said.

No posts will be lost from the force's "visible patrol strength", most relate to fewer senior officer positions and training staff, he added.

Collaborating with other forces is also being investigated.

Start Quote

This is an in-house tidy up if you like, but the spending review next month and what that means is not accounted for”

End Quote Andy White Police Federation

Chief Constable Paul West said it would make the force more streamlined but further "challenges" lay ahead with the government's spending review next month likely to bring increased budget cuts.

Police jobs 'lost'

Andy White from the Police Federation said although posts would go through natural wastage and retirement he was critical of losing almost 100 officers.

"The danger is the loss of the 98 posts. It does not matter how they dress it up, that is a loss of police officers.

"They won't be replaced, they will be replaced as support staff - as the number of support staff grows, the number of officers reduces.

"This is an in-house tidy up if you like, but the spending review next month and what that means is not accounted for."

Other changes in the force that take effect from this week include West Mercia Police operating six commands instead of the five geographical divisions that currently exist across the force area, a spokesman said.

They have been replaced by Territorial Policing, Protective Services, Operational Support, Strategy and Legal Services, Human Resources and Corporate Services.

Mr West said: "There will still be clearly identified senior officers responsible for local command and at the same time we will significantly restructure the ways in which we support frontline officers and staff.

"These changes will make West Mercia Police more streamlined and effective and will free up officers to focus upon operational policing and operational command.

"This is an important period in the force's development during which we will continue to face new challenges - not least the additional budget reductions that the Government have made clear they will be announcing later this year."

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